Sunday, February 1, 2009


**As always, mind the spoilers, fanboy.**

- Opening Remarks -

Final Crisis #7
by Grant Morrison & Doug Mahnke
DC Comics


I can understand why a lot of people hated the guts out of this event. Hell, even I'll admit that without both previous knowledge of Morrison's fucked up writing style and Jack Kirby's Forth World saga, this event would have been like trying to freak a fat girl in a pitch black room: hopelessly bumbling and all around unpleasant.

Final Crisis accomplished what many events spectacularly fail to do: alter the fabric of an entire continuity in an honest and thought provoking manner, in a format respectable to the reader's intelligence and budget. I'll say honestly that at the moment I don't understand everything that transpired in this series, and I know for a fact that I'll never be able to completely buy the concept of a parasitic vampire God, but that this series had enough substance to warrant continued analyzation speaks volumes for its overall quality (at least in my opinion).

All in all, this issue was a fulfilling conclusion to one of the most misunderstood and underestimated events in recent comic history. It was a rocky ride, no doubt, but I'm satisfied. In the end, that's all I give a fuck about.

Parade (with Fireworks)
by Mike Cavallaro
Shadowline (Image) Comics


After reading Shadowline's crappy I Hate Gallant Girl series, I thought in my heart of hearts I'd never buy another book from this publisher again. Fortunately for myself I swore to this only after I'd ordered Parade(with Fireworks).

From a purely narrative perspective, Parade is nothing special. The author himself refers to his work as "... a quick fade-in and fade-out ..." where the characters are rapidly thrust through the spotlight, never allowing the reader to fully grasp their nature, motivations, or other humanistic qualities. This stylistic decision unfortunately saps any empathy the reader might have for the protagonist and his struggles with poverty, plights for revenge, or subsequential damnation from a fascist government. But from a artistic perspective, this book is absolutely gorgeous. Cavallaro's imagery, walking a thin line between stylistically cartoonish and eerily realistic, leaps from the page, propelled by some of the most vibrant coloring I have ever seen. This book is absolutely gorgeous. Gorgeous. Gorgeous.

If this author could combine this amazing artistic style with a more in-depth story, he would take the world of comics by storm. Seriously, keep your eyes open for more work from Mike Cavallaro. If he can get it together in a narrative sense, I predict he will one day be a sequential force of nature. For the time being we'll have to settle for him giving the Shadowline imprint credibility, which is no small feat in itself.

Avengers: The Initiative #21
by Christos N. Gage & Huberto Ramos
Marvel Comics


Like so many Marvel books before it, I assumed this title would tank like an old lady walking down a steep hill the moment its founding author (i.e. Dan Slott) jumped ship. Holy crap I was wrong.

I am extremely impressed at Gage's initial offerings on this title. The characters are vibrant, the plot is quick and engrossing, and having Huberto Ramos on penciling duties sure isn't going to hurt anything. Dare I say this title's every bit as good as it was when Slott was involved ... if not more so.

And here I was thinking if I ever saw the Thor clone again I'd quit comics forever. Bravo, everyone. Keep it up.

The All-New Atom Vol. 3: Small Wonder
by Rick Remender, Gail Simone, Pat Olliffe, & Mike Norton
DC Comics


Reading Gail Simone & Rick Remender's storylines back-to-back lend possible explanations as to why this title failed. Simone's work was a little too fun, relying heavily on quip one-liners and humorous situations to be taken seriously. Remender's stories dwelled on the opposite end of the spectrum, drawing heavily on fantastic sci-fi misadventures, not stopping to spare a single drop a blood or a solitary humorous aside. Each respective run lacks what the other brought to the table. If only the two elements could somehow have combined things might not have ended as they did (i.e. cancellation). Not that it fucking matters now, unless someone out there has a time machine and wants to use it to save a third-string character's latest comic misadventures.

Overall this title is still worth checking out if you don't have anything better to do. Be warned though: the final story line's conclusion is sloppier than a Taco Bell toilet after a bean burrito sale.

Miss Don't Touch Me
by Hubert & Kerascoet


I know what you're saying. You're saying "Of course Mister V's going to love a comic where most of the characters are hookers. He's a fucking pig." Well fuck you, dude. I've read plenty of shitty books with hookers in them. I just can't think of any right now.

But this book isn't solely about prostitutes. It's a tale of a young girl, witness to her sister/care giver's violent murder, who is forced into a struggle of survival and vengeance. And Lordy does she struggle.

The most enjoyable aspect of this book is its brutality. Much like the role of a dominatrix the protagonist plays (and thrives in), Hubert and Kerascoet drag the reader down into the dark, seedy dungeon of the human soul, punishing us with the depravity and viscera we so greedily lust after. This is a very disturbing read, not so much due to the humiliation and hopeless damnation the characters within the narrative endure, but from the non-chaulant nature from which they endure it.

Aside from a slightly lavish use of coincidence, Miss Don't Touch Me is an engrossing read. Hubert's weaving of his tale is riveting. Kerascoet's rendering of the narrative is uncompromising (not to mention clever in his line work). Thematically no moral judgements are made, and no lectures are rendered. For once we're allowed to writhe in a sea of filth and intrigue, and enjoy it, no less.

Thank you, Miss, may I have another?

Batman: Gotham After Midnight #9
by Steve Niles & Kelley Jones
DC Comics


Some people are fans of the campy, Adam Westish Batman incarnations, with all the deductions, gadgets, and outlandish characterizations. I am not one of those people. I fucking hate this book. I hate having each single issue being broken up into four respective chapters. I hate the choppy flow of the narrative, no doubt done for "stylistic" reasons. I hate the distracting white gutters detracting from Kelley Jones' art. I hate the Loeb-ish mystery of the quest to discover who the murdered "Midnight" is. Most of all, I hate the way Niles portrays Batman as a character too slow to keep up with goofy, lackluster villain, and too pussy to stick up to a cannon-fodder detective. Hate hate hate.

The real mystery is why I've continued to purchase this title. Besides pointing out that I started with this title before the economy went tits up, much like everyone else, I don't have a reason. Maybe if I had a fucking Bat-computer I could figure it out.

God I can't wait for this series to be over.


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